Thursday, July 27, 2017

Driftwood: Naturally Awesome

Natural driftwood wind chime, large, outdoors, five copper chimes.
Naturally Beautiful Pacific Driftwood Wind Chime
$325 USD, Coast Chimes
As soon  as I saw this piece of driftwood on the beach, I knew it would made a spectacular wind chime. This wood is overflowing with character. At 6.5 feet long, it will need space, but most people can easily find room by suspending it from the eves of their house. It could also be hung under a high deck, or from the branch of a large tree.

You can find many interesting driftwood wind chimes in the driftwood section of my website: Driftwood.

If driftwood is not your thing, you can see all of my glass and copper wind chimes at suncatchers elsewhere on the site: Coast Chimes.

Below is a detail image of the intriguing driftwood in the chime above.

Driftwood detail image

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hiking, Roberts Creek, Sunshine Coast, BC

Hiking Sunshine Coast British Columbia
One of My Favourite Spots
Just Above Roberts Creek, BC
Sunshine Coast

From Powell River to Port Melon, the Sunshine Coast is without doubt rich in awesome hiking options.

Before moving close to Gibsons, we lived in upper Roberts Creek, and that is where I first discovered the almost countless trails this area boast. Every once in a while, I enjoy returning to this part of the coast, to revisit those trails. Just yesterday, I took a friend through one of these routes. A beautiful blue sky day, and early enough so we did not wilt from heat. Perfect!

The picture above is one of my very favourite spots on the coast. It's such a peaceful spot. But it is also typical of many of the trails on the Sunshine Coast.

One thing: because there are so many trails, it is pretty easy to get turned around and loose your way. I recommend the free app,, available at the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Apps. Unlike Google Maps or Apple Maps, actually has a lot of hiking trails on the maps. If I did not know the area well, I would not go to a place like where I took this picture without it, and even though I know the area well, I still reference the maps from time to time.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Beach Combing, Gibsons British Columbia, Canada

Interesting driftwood found near Gibsons, BC; soon to be a Coast Chimes Wind Chime
Driftwood Found Near Gibsons, BC
Soon to be a Coast Chimes Wind Chime

Most summer days, I take at least an hour off from working on my wind chimes to go on a walk down to the ocean. There I can stroll along the shore, and, with luck, find something interesting to bring home to make into a wind chime (so is that really taking time off from work?). Yesterday I found an especially attractive piece of driftwood: so much character!

You can see all my driftwood wind chimes in the driftwood section of my website: Driftwood

Or visit the beach stone section to see some driftwood mixed with beach stones: Beach Stones

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Beautiful Simplicity: Cobalt Blue Glass Wind Chime

Coast Chimes cobalt blue glass and copper wind chime with handmade brass chimes
Cobalt Blue Glass & Copper Wind Chime
Handmade Antiqued Brass Chimes
$87 at Coast Chimes

As a designer, I love simple. There is something very appealing to the eye, when things are taken to their least complicated level. That is why this chime is one of my favourites: simplicity.

Quality is important, too. Over the years, I have searched out the finest materials, and my designs always take durability very seriously. I do not want my wind chimes and suncatchers to be one summer affairs. The nylon coated multi-strand stainless steel I use to secure the chimes is an example of that, along with the sterling silver crimps (no rusting away). The chimes are treated with a reactive: not paint or polish, and this finish will never peel or flake away.

You can find this wind chime and other awesome works on my website: Coast Chimes. $10 flat express shipping to the USA and Canada.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Urban Organic Food Garden Success

Organic urban food garden produces lots of food
A Small Yard
Produces Lots of Organic Goodness
We moved into our new house 3 years ago, and while I got going in my new workshop producing wind chimes for the world, my wife got going on what at that time was a barren, scorched earth landscape.

My only stipulation was that I would not be cutting any grass. We moved from acreage where there was A LOT of grass, and I felt strongly I never wanted to walk back and forth with a lawn mower again. She agreed, and the result is what you see pictured above: food.

She did invest many, many hours, but that turned out to be something she really enjoys; pulling weeds, planting seeds, and, of course, harvesting. This little yard produces so much, we had to buy a freezer.

As I hear the noisy lawn mowers firing up to the left, the right, I laugh. Those characters are going to spend an hour walking back and forth, then maybe climb in their car and go to the grocery store to buy expensive, pesticide coated, produce for their supper.

I suggest, if you have a yard, or even just a patio, that you grow your own.

If you live on the Sunshine Coast, BC, or visit, you are welcome to come by. My studio is open pretty much everyday, and I'm happy to show off both the garden and my outdoor art for the home and garden. See my work and get directions on my visitors page of my website: Coast Chimes.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Large Outdoor Natural Pacific Wind Chimes

Copper, driftwood, beach stone out door wind chime by Coast Chimes
Copper, Driftwood, Beach Stone Wind Chime
Found Here at  Coast Chimes
You can read the history of the wave tossed sun bleached driftwood used in this wind chime: it's been wave tossed and sand rubbed. The beautiful rounded, smooth beach stone tells a similar story. With the antiqued copper chimes, it all comes together in a most awesome way.

These wind chimes made of stone and wood look even more beautiful when they are wet from the rain. It is definitely a chime for all year outdoor usage, in all climates. Solid.

See this and many other striking wind chimes and suncatchers at Coast Chimes.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Natural Pacific Driftwood Copper Wind Chime Design

New Natural Pacific Driftwood Wind Chime Design
Five Copper Chimes
$175 Coast Chimes

What a warm, welcoming wind chime! Naturally beautiful. This is a new design and I love the simplicity. It's going to look wonderful hanging in any garden, yard, or on any deck-- or from the eves of your house.

The driftwood really matches with the antiqued copper of the chimes. These chimes produce a gentle, soothing sound: not at all like the large aluminum chimes that are impressive in the store, but annoying at home. The secret to a nice sound is the beach stone clapper, or striker: hard against soft metal does magic.

Find this set, and other styles including a small brass chime set, at Coast Chimes.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Driftwood and Beach Stone West Coast Nature Wind Chimes

West Coast beach stone and driftwood wind chime, five copper chimes, Coast Chimes
West Coast Nature Wind Chime
Driftwood and Beach Stones
Five Copper Chimes
$275 Available at Coast Chimes

I really like to use as many natural, local, materials as possible in my wind chime designs. The style pictured here takes that to the maximum, with the awesome collection from the beach.

I have a number of this style on my website, including some much smaller ones for $85.

Whether big or small, all ship anywhere in the USA or Canada for a flat $10.

The chimes and windsail are pure copper, by the way: gorgeous! The beach stone clapper, or striker, creates a soothing, lovely sound against the antiqued copper chimes.

Visit Coast Chimes now, to see all the amazing designs.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Deluxe Handcrafted Bird Feeder Wind Chime

Coast Chimes deluxe bird feeder wind chime
Deluxe Red Cedar Handcrafted
Bird Feeder Wind Chime
$275 at Coast Chimes
One of the big projects each year is the making of my deluxe red cedar bird feeders. I only make them once a year, and when they are sold out, they are gone until the following year. Sometimes they sell out very quickly, and other times they remain until the Christmas rush. This year I have one left from last year's stock, probably because I never put it on Etsy. I really wanted to keep it, to use as a template for this year's crop, but it is listed on Coast Chimes' website: .Here

I am terribly proud of this design. I came up with it about 20 years ago, actually as a lamp design. The table lamp was a little different, but basically all the elements were present. I then turned it into a bird feeder wind chime, and each year made a few improvements. It is one gorgeous, awesome bird feeder.

Sometimes people ask if the chimes bother the birds. I hung this style at my home when I had acreage, and never noticed any reaction from any birds, regarding the chimes. It's cool, because when a bird lands, there tends to be a gentle chiming, and when it takes off, even more of a chiming, as it pushes off. Very nice!

I just got my supply of red cedar from the local mill, which dried quickly under the summer sun, and will be starting to make this years's supply of feeders before too long.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Outdoor Glass and Copper Garden Yard Decor

Kaleidoscope glass and copper art wind chime: Coast Chimes
Kaleidoscope Wind Chime
See it at Coast Chimes

As popular as it is beautiful: the Coast Chimes kaleidoscope wind chime. It looks great anywhere, anytime, but to see it at its best it should be hung where the morning and late afternoon sunlight can filter through the glass from behind: an awesome show of brilliant colours!

This wind chime is extremely well made-- like all Coast Chimes products. The glass pieces are loosely trapped between two plates of extra-thick glass in a red cedar box frame. All the red cedar has been treated with an exceptional tung nut oil finish.

The five copper chimes are the pride of Coast Chimes. The process is long, but the results are striking. The copper is cut, double sanded, treated with a reactive (this finish will not peel or flake), scrubbed with steel wool, and polished. There are no strings or fishing line: all copper connections. This wind chime sounds great due to the beach stone clapper, or striker-- copper is soft, so a really hard clapper produces the sweetest sound.

Find this wind chime and other great creations at the Coast Chimes website. $10 express shipping on all orders.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Gibsons, BC, Sunshine Coast, Canada

Gibsons BC Swimming Beach
Looking Back at My
Summer Afternoon Swimming Beach
Gibsons, BC, Canada

As a self-employed artist, one thing I learned very early is that discipline is important. It is all too easy to get sloppy, start later, finish earlier, read one more chapter. Then you end up not getting things done that need to be done, and it all slides downhill from there.

Before going to sleep at night, I typically make a little list in my head of what I will start with the following morning, what I will accomplish during the day. It helps a lot for getting going in the morning, and for sticking to it during the day. If I fall short of accomplishing all that is on that list, it's not the end of the world, but I feel a bit bad and resolve to work harder the next day. This works really well for me.

During the summer, Gibsons / the Sunshine Coast is the place to be. Not too hot, but hot enough to have a swim that feels great. Blue skies. It is very tempting to take a lot of time off. And I do take some time-- everyone deserves some holiday! But the summer is also the time where I do a lot of my main work, because the wood I work with is dry, the glass can be handled more easily, and there is a long list of things needing to be finished before the October Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, and Christmas rush.

The way I handle the urge to toss everything and spend the day at the ocean reading and swimming is to make that list in my head, and finish it before taking off. But almost every nice day, I do walk down to the local sandy beach (10 minutes stroll, and just happens to be one of the nicest ones on the Coast). It is a wonderful incentive to work hard and finish up: a treat, and it doesn't cost a dime.

If visiting Vancouver, or Vancouver Island, I highly recommend you take a side trip to the Sunshine Coast. Enjoy the slower life style, pick up a Purple Banner Guide of artists' studios and galleries (available on the ferries and in the tourists' bureaus). Make sure to drop by Coast Chimes (directions)-- I'm here everyday working (except for when I am down having a swim!) and would love to show you what I do.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Beaver Gnawed Driftwood Wind Chimes

Beaver gnawed driftwood with five copper chimes: Coast Chimes
Awesome Beaver Gnawed Driftwood
Five Copper Chimes
Outdoor Wind Chime: Coast Chimes

I've never seen anything like it: a gorgeous piece of driftwood cut at both ends by a beaver. Perfect for one of my large outdoor handcrafted copper wind chimes. Then, even better, I found a smaller piece of beaver gnawed driftwood just a few weeks later, nearly in the same spot along the beach. So there is a little brother to the large one pictured above.

Beaver cut driftwood, 3 handcrafted brass chimes: Coast Chimes
Little Brother to the Large Beaver Driftwood
See it at Coast Chimes

Monday, July 03, 2017

Delicious Time of Year: Urban Garden

Colorful organic Swiss chard from home urban yard garden
Colorful Organic Swiss Chard from
Urban Home Yard Garden

Possibly my favourite time of year: warm days, cool nights, and awesome treats arriving daily on our dining table, thanks to my wife's hours in our yard garden.

I usually grocery shop once a week, Sunday mornings, and just now it is really happening. Making out the list, and realized I can almost completely skip the produce aisles. So cool!

It is shocking to me just how much food a very small yard garden can produce. I realized just how much last year, when I had to go out and buy a chest freezer!

I encourage you to rip up the grass and put a few raised beds in. The time you save from not having to mow and care for your lawn, invest in planting and weeding and harvesting. Enjoy better food.

Below is a picture of our little yard garden.

Organic urban yard food garden.
This little yard produces a lot of food